GERMANY - Ebase, a fund service platform tied to German asset manager Cominvest, says the expected boom in occupational pensions will mean assets under administration from that sector will almost double by the end of 2008.
“I wish the boom had arrived yesterday, but we are seeing signs of it now,” Rudolf Geyer, chief executive of Ebase, told IPE from Munich. “As a result, we should reach a volume of €800m by the end of 2008 compared with around €421m now.”

To prepare for the boom, Geyer said Ebase had added two new occupational pension specialists from last July 1. The two specialists, Ursula Fleischmann and Anja Franz, take the occupational pensions team to seven.

According to Ebase, the €421 in assets are derived from corporate pension schemes – primarily book reserves – and overtime accounts at more than 200 companies in Germany. Collectively, these companies employ 50,000 people.

Overtime accounts enable employees to save the monetary equivalent of overtime hours, unused holiday, cash bonuses or a portion of salary to help finance retirement or any time off from work. The savings, which can include matching funds from an employer, are tax-deferred.

Ebase’s clients include US household goods firm Proctor & Gamble, German construction company Hochtief, telecoms company O2 and subsidiaries of German technology giant Siemens.

Beyond serving Cominvest, Ebase provides fund services for another 100-plus asset managers who offer around 4,000 investment funds.